Favorite Christmas present of the past: Strat-o-matic Baseball
Growing up I received a lot of cool presents, most coming from my brother, but the one that stands out most was unwrapped on Christmas 1989… Strat-o-matic baseball.
Might be hard for people under 30 to believe that there was a time when we not only played board games instead of video games, but really enjoyed it. I was at the age when baseball was king in my life. The Pirates were coming off a lackluster year and about to explode into an N.L. East dominance for 3 years which I would have a front row seat for. Just like The Sandlot, I played baseball every free chance I had and I couldn’t absorb enough about the sport.
Previously that summer my brother found his early 1970′s version of the game and we gave it a shot in the backyard. Instant addiction and it created a stat-a-holic which I still am today.
Here is how we played. I say “we” because with board games between siblings you always change things up.
- 2 deck of cards representing your teams (I rocked the 86 Cardinals in later years). Each card would have player rankings and stats. You would select your lineup based on which players you had available
- Roll the 6-sided and 12-sided dice, one would tell if its pitcher or hitter and the other would show you what happens. If you look at the picture to the left a 5-12 roll would be a walk and then on the board you move a guy to 1st base.
- Play 9 innings or until you have a winner. There is base stealing, balks and pretty much everything imaginable.
Yes there are video games that can do all of this but the fun was playing against someone else without a computer being involved. It was you, the luck of the roll, your ability to manage a roster, and serious trash talking.
I still have my game in my basement. I don’t think I’ve played it since the early 90′s though just because life happens. Recently my brother and I went on a search to see if the game was still being made and to our surprise it was but for, ironically, the price of a new video game. I know that he’s kept the tradition going with his boys for playing and I hope that mine will pick it when they get a little older also.
Writing this post actually has me itching to play again. I might have to dust off my 86 Cardinals and spank my brother’s 75 Reds one more time for old times sake. Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith, Jack Clark, Danny Cox, Terry Pendleton, Jose Oquendo, Willie McGee and my favorite, Erie Pa great Tommy Lawless. Unstoppable! Nothing like a 13 year old beating a 31 year old at a game.
Does anyone else remember this game or still play? Let me know!